DATE                                        17.03.13

DISTANCE                               6.2 MILES

WEATHER                               COLD  BUT DRY

 START / FINISH                     SMALL FREE CAR PARK AT GUNNERSIDE

Gunnerside

Todayís walk was going to be another walk that I try to do once every year or so  (I know Iím a bit of a bore at times) but even though I know what to expect I am still very impressed with this valley and all the old workings that are scattered about . My better half had already informed me that she wouldnít be joining me today and fully intended to spend the day lounging around like a loppy dog farting and doing bugger all (what a hack), I think that we/ she overdid it the day before plus the weather didnít seem that promising, we had a small snow fall overnight and more was forecast so that was it, she promptly informed me that she wasnít going anywhere till the summer arrived.

Arty leg was having none of it, leaping around all over the place waiting for me to get my gear sorted, he couldnít wait to get out, he like me was looking forward to getting out in the cold fresh air and having a good mooch around.

The route I had planned was nothing out of the ordinary, in fact it was rather easy well used footpaths and tracks but I always remember about the first time I came along this way and how knackered I was and how I was so worried about the terrain and what to do if I couldnít manage it, I suppose itís a measure of how far I have progressed over the years with the ability to walk again, sometimes it does me good to be reminded not to take things for granted. And with all the bother I had been having with my stump recently it is a bit of a wakeup call, however that was then and today I knew as soon as I had Arty on that there wouldnít be any problems. Gear was thrown into the car and off I went.

Because of the location of the campsite we were staying at it didnít take any amount of time before I pulled into the small car parking area at Gunnerside , out with the jet boil and coffee was on whilst I got my gear sorted and on.

There was a few other cars parked up and quite a crowd of people milling around when I was approached by a local women who quite politely asked about my leg or rather lack of one, she knew someone who was an amputee and seem generally surprised that I was planning to go walking in the hills for the day, we had a chat about stuff and amputee things and she informed me that she was going to inform her friend about me.(I havenít got a clue why) then proceeded to warn me about the path alongside the river that had been damaged in the floods and how to bypass it.

After a long goodbye and me promising to be careful off I went. My route wasnít set in stone,(see map) but local conditions were going to play a big part in where I went plus of course the weather, it was bitterly cold with very threating low grey skyís and when the wind picked up you knew that there was a lot of ice on the high fells brrrrrrrrrrrr.

I hadnít got more than a mile into the route when I was stopped by yet another local , who started off being polite and asking about my Arty leg , (am I that different ?)then proceeded to lecture me about the weather, and wanted to know where I was planning to go, being a good natured type of person that I am I answered & explained that I knew about the damaged path & knew the area quite well and had a ruck sack full of good winter gear should the weather change only to be told that I shouldnít be out on my own and supposing I broke my leg!!!! I simply replied what about if you broke your leg after all you have two ÖÖÖÖI only have one to worry about , however he was having none of it and went on to lecture me , about my responsibility ect ect ÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖArty wanted to kick him in the knackers and I felt my good mood slipping away , one last time I tried to end the conversation in a polite way and be on my way , in the end I thanked him for his concern and left him to it , muttering under my breath words like ďwankerĒ, Arty wanted to go back and throw him over the edge (I really think that Arty needs to learn a bit more self-control) However it didnít take long before my mood lighten up , after all the views and scenery are something special round here and to make my day even better didnít see anyone up close till much later on in the afternoon when I met up with another local who spent a bit of time explaining all about the local history in this area and how the mines where worked , all I can say is they had it rough in those days . Then just to show him how sociable I can be I got the jet boil out and made us both a cup of coffee, over coffee he showed me several good walking routes that would be suitable for me to do, where to park ect and all I can say is I canít wait to get the chance to try some of them out.

Coffee was drunk and we said our goodbyes and it was time for me to head back down to the car at Gunnerside.

Then whilst sorting my gear out I was again met by the same lady who warned me about the footpath in the morning, we chatted and I thanked her again for the info and she informed me that she had been keeping an eye out for me ďjust in case ďand you know I was touched, itís nice to think that there are people around that care about the wellbeing of total strangers.  I hate to think what would have happened if I was late or something; I have visions of her getting all the locals out and starting a search party or something. But it went a long way to restoring my faith in mankind.

Anyway a few photos enjoy, and again I have to say the photos donít capture the grand scale or feel of the place very well.  

Taken just after I left Gunnerside.

 

The path that runs alongside the Gunnerside Beck or Gill (all depending on who you talk to)

 

Looking back itís full of stone boulders but there is a well-worn path that weaves between them.

 

On the advice of the local lady I met, I left the beck side path and cut up onto the meadows again there is a well walked path along here so itís hard to take the wrong turning. Looking back.

 

Looking down to where I re-join the beck / gill side path, the ground is very wet and I should think that the muddy path in the woods would be a nightmare.

 

Some of the old ruins, from what I remember there used to be a couple of info boards here, sadly they have gone.

 

Looking back, when the sun is out the snow covered hills in the far distance look very impressive.

 

My route takes me alongside the beck for a short distance; it is delightful walking along here.

 

Some more of the ruins that are scattered around here.

 

My path is still following the beck, more ruins on the other side, as I have said there is lots of stuff scattered along this beck.

 

Looking back.

 

Now I start a slow long climb up, again itís gradual so it doesnít take much effort.

 

Looking back down.

 

Iím not sure if this is classed as a small waterfall or not but it looks almost permanent.

 

However looking across to the other side of the valley at waterfall at Botcher Gill and there is no doubt about it being a waterfall.

 

Looking back along my route, you can just about make out where there has been a small landslide.

 

The waterfall.

 

Looking down into Gunnerside Gill / beck

 

Looking across the valley towards some old mine workings.

 

The path takes me past what I think is Swina bank Scar.

 

Again looking across the other side at more ruins.

 

Then you come round the corner and are greeted by this sight.

 

A few more photos of the ruins and surrounding area.

 

Looking back down the valley.

 

A couple more.

 

My route down.

 

Looking back up the valley.

 

Yet another tunnel entrance.

 

Down amongst some more of the ruins.

 

A few more photos as I make my way over the beck / gill, the ruins here are very impressive.

 

Small waterfall.

Last look back.

 

My path as I start to climb out of the valley again very easy walking.

 

Looking across to the other side, and the Hush es (is that the correct word?)

 

Looking across from the North Hush.

 

Looking back along my route.

 

Looking across at the ruins where I had a mooch about earlier on.

 

Looking along my route towards Birkbeck wood.

 

Part of the waterfall at Botcher Gill Nook.

 

Looking back across towards Gorton,Friarfold and Bunton hush. They certainly add something to the landscape.

 

Looking closely you can clearly see the path I walked up this morning, what I canít seem to capture is the size of the place.

 

Getting closer to where I start to drop down.

 

Just about to drop down a bit of a steep hill into Gunnerside where I left the car.

Day after thoughts

Once again Gunnerside didnít disappoint, with the snow and ice lying around it certainly gave this walk a bit of atmosphere) (if thatís the right word)

Aches and pains I was fine in the morning and no problems with my stump. Arty leg once again stepped up to the mark and did me proud, but at just over 6.2 miles and 1200 ft. of ups and downs all over easy well-trodden paths I didnít really expect to have any problems.

 

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